Skip to main content

Full text of "Design"

See other formats

Baby Shoes 


build, hack, tweak, share, discover. 

Baby Shoes 

Written By: Eve Oki Shirley 


Cutting board (1) 
Embroidery scissors (1) 

Hammer (1) 

ideally with a round face to avoid 
damaging leather. 

Hole punch (1) 

Such as the Mini Leather Punch 

( or the 1/16" Craftool 

Drive Punch (tan- ~ 

dy 'leather factory, com) . 

Hook tool (1) 

Pick (1) 

or scratch awl. 

Scissors (1) 

Sewing machine (1) 

X-Acto knife (1) 

Use a new, sharp blade. 


Leather (1) 

The optimal thickness/weight for each 
r. Sole and insole: 3/32*^ 


-1/8" (3oz 


3V20Z). Uppers: 1/16"-3/16" (1oz-3oz). 
Toe piece and lining: no more than 1/16" 
(1oz). Ankle piece: 1/16"-3/16" (1oz- 
3oz) but you must be able to skive, or 
scrape thin slices off~ ~ 

Sponge (1) 

1/8" -3/ 16" thick for cushioning around 


Glass surface (1) 

or marble slab for skiving. 

Soft glued) 

such as rubber cement for a temporary 


Hard glued) 

such as contact cement, for a 
permanent hold. 

Brush d) 

for the glue. A thinning agent helps to 
keep the brush clean. 

Lighter (1) 


Round-tip needle for cross-stitching. 


The adhesive-backed kind is easy i 


Waxed nylon thread (1) 
or artificial sinew. 

Metallic pen (1) 

Silver and/or gold pen. Try the Uni-ball 

/*^*-\/ / »-yi #-\ o *-* f 

his\hi r*r\ r\*ts\r+ s\ff /-»*-»*-» i*/i 

/ ;^^> 

© Make Projects 

Pagel of 15 

Baby Shoes 

Kja iiiikjaisi. vviiHsii oi/i i IC7J uu easily. 

silver tor darker leather and gold for 
lighter leather. 


A good pair of shoes gives us the opportunity to strike the fine balance between great design 
and function — and that goes for baby shoes, too. Babies' feet are soft and flexible, so they 
can be squeezed into almost any shoe. But because their little bone structures are still 
taking shape, it's not a good idea to force their spongy little piggies into hard-shelled 

The shoes I've designed here, for babies between the ages of 6 and 14 months, have just 
the right amount of structure to support the feet, but still allow them a wide range of motion. 
The leather supports comfortably and breathes naturally. And the Velcro flaps and big 
openings make getting them on and off fuss-free. 

© Make Projects Page 2 of 1 5 

Baby Shoes 

Step 1 — Prepare the pattern. 

HQVJ TB WLA»TE SAfcy 5HtfE& - F«TrH^ 4- * 

]1 ■ "ir^ide. 

HO^-ft MflK* &rt6v SHfipi - m-rTEt^ 2 

• Download the 2 patterns under Files above. 

• Print out 2 copies of the pattern. Use one as a guide (set aside for later) and the other as 
an actual pattern. Using the punch and hammer, punch out all the dots on the pattern. 

© Make Projects 

Page 3 of 15 

Baby Shoes 

Step 2 — Cut leather and sponge. 

• Place pattern pieces on the 
appropriate thick- nesses of 
leather. Trace all outlines and holes 
using the silver or gold pen. Make 
sure to mark the center and inside 
edge (II = inside edge) of each 
piece because it can be hard to 
distinguish left from right once 
they're all cut out. 

• The patterns are created 

just for the left side of each 
piece. Flip them and repeat the 
steps to complete the right side. 

• Cut the traced pieces using your X- 
Acto knife. For outlines, it's better 
to cut along the inside of the line 
rather than on or outside the line. 

• Cut the sponge in the same 

© Make Projects 

Page 4 of 15 

Baby Shoes 

Step 3 — Skive the leather. 

• Skiving means thinning leather in order to make it easier to stitch. Since the machine that 
can do this is prohibitively expensive, we'll skive by hand using a knife. 

• Following the diagram, trace the inner line of the pattern onto the leather. Skive the ankle 
piece on all edges. The topside will need to be folded later, so the end should be paper- 
thin. The bottom piece will simply be glued and stitched, so you should skive to about half 
of the starting thickness. 

• There will be a total of 4 layers at the toe area on the final product. Depending on the 
thickness of your leather, it may become very stiff to stitch. Skive the area with the 
crossed line on the pattern (uppers 1 and 2) down to about 2/3 or 1/2 of the starting 

© Make Projects 

Page 5 of 15 

Baby Shoes 

Step 4 — Punch holes. 

• Follow the guide pattern, and punch out all the red dots. 

• Apply hard glue on the back of the toe piece and on upper 1 where the toe piece will be 

• Wait until glue is completely dry on each piece, then attach and glue pieces together. 

• Punch out the holes on the toe piece (the blue dots). 

Step 5 — Fold the leather. 

• Trace the erased inner line again on the back and the front. 

• Using the knife, make tiny slits, roughly evenly spaced, around the top edge, but closer 
together around the corners. 

• Lightly apply the soft glue, wait until it dries, then start folding the flaps along the inner line 
using an awl. The soft glue is forgiving, so you can easily detach and try again. 

© Make Projects 

Page 6 of 15 

Baby Shoes 

Step 6 — Fold the leather, continued. 

• Hammer down the edge to make it flat. 

• For the sponge, apply the hard glue on all edges. Wait until it's dry, then poke down the 
middle with the awl and squeeze both ends together to make a tapered edge. 

© Make Projects 

Page 7 of 15 

Baby Shoes 

Step 7 — Add an accent. 

• Using the same thread as you will for the final stitching, stitch a cross at the flap. Go 
through twice, just to add a little volume, if you choose. Or you can sew on a small button 
or other customized design. Have fun with it! If you choose the cross, make a tight knot 2 
times and cut the thread, leaving about 1/4" on both ends. 

• Using the lighter, burn the ends of the thread. The wax and the nylon thread will start to 
melt. Quickly blow out the flame and hammer down the end to squish it and make one 
glob. You'll do the same thing for the final stitching as well. 

Step 8 — Attach the Velcro. 

• For each shoe, cut 2 lengths of Velcro tape 1 3/8" long, with the hook sides and loop sides 
still fastened together. Peel off the adhesive backing (or apply glue if the Velcro doesn't 
have adhesive) on the loop (soft) sides and attach them to the 2 flaps on upper 1 . 

• Shape the tape with scissors, then pull off the hook (hard) sides and attach them to upper 
2 where it is marked. 

© Make Projects 

Page 8 of 15 

Baby Shoes 

Step 9 — Attach the Velcro, continued. 

• On the reverse side of the leather, mark where you'll stitch the Velcro with a semi-sharp 
tool like the back of a knife or scissors. Then sew all 4 Velcro pieces onto the leather. 

• After each sewing, pull the front thread through to the back side and tie two knots (see 
Figure TK). Carefully burn the knot with the lighter to make a very tiny melted knot. 

© Make Projects 

Page 9 of 15 

Baby Shoes 

Step 10 — Sew the pieces together. 

• Start with the heels. Put them together inside out, and sew the very edge. Be careful not to 
sew over the holes at the end! 

• Turn them right-side out and hammer along the stitched line to flatten the edge. 

• To sew the ankle piece, flip over the upper you've just sewn and lightly apply hard glue to 
the top edge. Also lightly apply hard glue to the bottom edge of the ankle piece. Wait until 
completely dry, then attach the 2 pieces together, starting from the center (should be 
marked with a silver dot) and working out to the sides. Sew along the edge. 

• Sew the lining and the toe piece. Flip upper 2 inside out. Lightly apply soft glue on the 
backside of upper 2 and the lining. Wait until it's dry, then put the 2 pieces together, 
starting from the center and working out to the sides. Flip them back and sew along the 
edge, starting from the beginning of the ankle piece to the end. Sew the toe piece along the 

• I put these two together to minimize changing the thread. These are the last 
stitches that require brown thread for the top and white for the bottom. 

© Make Projects 

Page 10 of 15 

Baby Shoes 

Step 11 — Attach the sponge. 




• Detach the lining and upper where they were just glued, and reapply soft glue on the back 
of the upper and front of the sponge piece. Wait until it's dry and carefully place the 
sponge, starting at the top center and working out to the sides. It may be difficult at first 
and the sponge may seem too short, but it should fit right into both edges after a couple of 

• You can also start this step by turning the piece inside out, but turn it over immediately 
after attaching the sponge at the center. Because of the radius of the thickness, the 
sponge will seem much too short if placed inside out! 

• Glue the lining, making sure to glue the bottom near the holes. 

• Punch holes in the lining. Follow the holes on the upper, and simply re-punch where the 
existing holes are. Be careful not to punch over the sewn thread! 

• Using the nipper, carefully cut out any excess lining from the top, and below the upper. 

© Make Projects 

Page 11 of 15 

Baby Shoes 

Step 12 — Stitch the shoe together. 

• The final pieces are: upper 1, upper 
2, sole, and insole. 

• Cut wax thread (or artificial sinew) 
to 72". Using a blanket stitch, start 
at the top hole on the right side of 
the heel, inside to out. Leave about 
5" of thread (so that you can pull it 
by hand later). 

• Go from the bottom sole to bottom 
hole to upper hole, and wrap 
around the thread. Repeat the 
steps to hole 14. 

• At hole 15 (which should be 
marked with a silver dot), begin 
stitching upper 1. Repeat the same 
steps but simply place upper 1 in 
between the sole and upper 2. 

• After adding upper 1 , you may not 
be able to do the entire stitch in 
one go as shown in the diagram. 
Don't worry — just stitch 1 hole at 
a time. It might get a bit confusing, 
especially when the thread is long; 
just focus on the order of the stitch. 

© Make Projects 

Page 12 of 15 

Baby Shoes 

Step 13 — Stitch the shoe together, continued. 

• Don't worry if the stitches are loose. Stitch to about halfway, then start tightening the 
thread with the hook tool. 

© Make Projects 

Page 13 of 15 

Baby Shoes 

Step 14 — Stitch the shoe together, continued. 



r .^■"■^■"■v^w 

,^ ^i lw 

>r ^BB 


• When tightened, the top part of the thread should sit right around the edge of sole. After 
stitching all around, the sole may be uneven. If so, use the needle to make an even 

• Finish off stitching where the first thread came out. Both threads should end inside the 
shoe. Pull both ends tightly as you flip the shoe inside out, just enough to expose the ends 
(you don't have to turn the shoe entirely). 

• As you did with the accent on the flap, make 2 tight knots and cut off the thread, leaving 
about 1/4" on each end. Carefully burn the ends using the lighter and quickly blow the 
flame out before it reaches the knot. While still hot, hammer down the end to make one 
glob of knot. 

© Make Projects 

Page 14 of 15 

Baby Shoes 

Step 15 — Attach the insole. 

• There are 2 ways to glue the insole. You can glue the front half of the insole and the shoe, 
then do the back half. 

• Or, you can slowly turn the entire shoe inside out and do it in one shot. Always wait until 
the glue on each piece is completely dry, then attach. Use hard glue for a permanent hold. 

This project first appeared in CRAFT Volume 07 , pages 55-61. 

This document was last generated on 2013-01-24 03:49:10 AM. 

© Make Projects 

Page 15 of 15